WEB---Columbia-Valley-Cycling-SocietyNicole Trigg

Pioneer Staff

Cycling in the Columbia Valley is a favourite pastime for many of those who live in and travel to the region. In recognition of this growing number of die hard two-wheeling enthusiasts, the Columbia Valley Cycling Society has created the first-ever comprehensive guide of cycling and non-motorized trails in the valley.

The guide, aptly titled Trails of the Columbia Valley, features all authorized riding areas from Fairmont Hot Springs to Kootenay National Park, to Panorama and Nipika Mountain Resort, society president Adrian Bergles told The Pioneer.

Basically it covers the extremities of the Columbia Valley and everywhere in between as well, he said. No non-official trails; these are strictly official riding areas.

Put together by the bike club with significant volunteer help from its member base and created by a Rossland-based graphic designer, the foldable map was financially supported by a Columbia Basin Trust grant as well as

Recreation Sites and Trails BC under the Ministry of

Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, which paid for the maps printing costs.

As a compendium of all legitimate cycling opportunities in the valley, it does actually give people a lot of information that they might not have even known existed in the past, Adrian said. Its pretty cool.

Ten thousand copies are expected to arrive any day and will soon be available for free at all the local bike shops and tourism centres. The official launch of the trail guide is set to take place at the societys Annual General Meeting on Monday, April 8th.

We just hope it helps foster cycling in the community and expand on what we have, Adrian said. Were hoping that it gives local people a really good idea of the trails that are available and helps develop the local cycling scene.

Anyone interested in learning about what the local volunteer-based cycling association has planned for 2013 is invited to attend the meeting, which will also recap last years successes. In addition to the development of the soon-to-be released trail guide, the clubs accomplishments include the development of the Pump n Jump Park in Radium Hot Springs; hosting the Columbia Valley Bike Swap; legalization and development of the Kloosifier Trail on the Toby Bench; hosting three successful volunteer trail maintenance days and a visit from the International Mountain Bike Association Trail Care Crew; and successfully being awarded almost $100,000 to improve trails and infrastructure at Mt. Swansea.

The Mt. Swansea work has not yet started, said Adrian, but will go ahead as soon as a Request for Proposals is issued and a contractor is selected. Also coming up for the bike club is its annual bike swap on Thursday, April 25th at the Invermere Community Hall and the first trail maintenance day of the year on Sunday, April 28th at the Lake Lillian (Kloosifier and Johnson) trails. A second volunteer trail day is already scheduled for Sunday, May 26th at Mt. Swansea, and a return visit by the IMBA Trail Care Crew in Kootenay National Park is set for Saturday, June 22nd.

Were actually quite fortunate to have (IMBA) come back, Adrian said. We had them here last fall, and its actually sort of a bit of a coup that we got them back.

Last years membership was 112 and the club is always looking for new members, Adrian added.

The AGM will start at 7 p.m. at the Lions Hall on Highway 93/95 at the Invermere Crossroads.

To learn more about the CVCS, visit the official website at www.columbiavalleycyclingsociety.org or email [email protected].